India, South Africa, India vs South Africa, Match Preview
India vs South Africa. Image Credit: Twitter
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The hosts India and the visitors South Africa are getting ready to face each other in the three-match ODI series. The top two teams will play the opening game of impending series on this Thursday (12th March) at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium (Dharamsala).

This series will be most probably their last ODI series ahead of their journey in the 2020–22 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League. So, before the beginning of this 2023 Cricket World Cup Qualification process, the upcoming ODI series will be important for them to set up the squad.

Though India are in the safe zone in the 2020–22 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League as they have qualified for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 as the hosts, they also have to take this Super League seriously as the preparation for the next WC.

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Coming back to the opening game of the India vs South Africa ODI series, the first game will be very crucial as it can define the way of this series.

At present, the Indian team has a lot to do in this format. While they won their last two home ODI series despite going on to lose the opening matches that time around. They lost the last ODI series 3-0 in New Zealand in last month.

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On the other hand, South Africa has enough confidence ahead of the upcoming away ODI series against India following the whitewash over Australia in the home ODI series.

Date and venue: March 12th, 2020, 01:30 pm IST, Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala

India vs South Africa 2020 – Playing Combinations:

India

India, South Africa, India vs South Africa, preview
Indian National Cricket Team (Image Credit: Twitter)

While the limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma is still unavailable for the selection due to the calf injury, Shikhar Dhawan‘s return is an added boost to an opening batting slot.

Also, the pace-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya and the right-arm pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar have returned to the squad after recovering from their respective injuries.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli, the top-ranked ODI batsman, is currently struggling with his batting form. His form will be crucial for this home team.

Indian middle-order batting seems strong as Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul and Manish Pandey are in the form with the bat.

Ravindra Jadeja is also in this squad who provides effective deepness in every aspect of the team. However, he will likely now have to fight with Hardik Pandya — to grab a spot in the playing XI.

While the team management has to pick between Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill as an opener. However, India will dearly miss the right-arm fast bowler Mohammed Shami.

In the first ODI, they may go with one spinner, so the team management many need to choose between the wrist spinners; Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.

Predicted XI: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah.

South Africa

India, South Africa, India vs South Africa, preview
South African cricketers (Image Credit: Twitter)

Captain Quinton de Kock is ready with his squad, to face top-class India. Faf du Plessis‘ ODI return is going to be interesting. Faf played the last ODI against Australia during the last league stage match at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

In his last three ODI innings, he scored 63, 96* and 100.

While Janneman Malan has been added to the ODI squad in the last moment, it will be interesting to see who will open with the skipper de Kock.

South Africa will miss their right-arm fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, who has been ruled out from this tour due to the groin muscle strain. Though they have some good pacers like Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi to name a few. The Proteas bowlers are not much-experienced, especially in the Indian subcontinent.

Predicted XI: Quinton de Kock (C/wk), Janneman Malan, Faf du Plessis, Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje, Beuran Hendricks and Lungi Ngidi.

India vs South Africa: Head-to-Head

Played: 84

India Won: 35

South Africa Won: 46

Tied: 0

No Result: 3

India vs South Africa 2020: Match Prediction

While South Africa haven’t enough experience in the bowling line-up, it will be an advantage for the Indian batsmen. Also, some of the Proteas batsmen are not aware of the Indian pitches.

Meanwhile, the top-order batting is very crucial for the Indian team’s success. However, among the experienced top-order batsmen, Dhawan has just returned to the international cricket while Kohli is struggling with the bat at present.

Indian middle-order batting has the huge ability to play big roles in batting. Also, the Indian bowlers have to perform in a consistent way.

Though the hosts have a good chance to win the first ODI, South Africa can surprise everyone like what they did recently at home against Australia.